He looked her straight in the eye and asked, “Do you curate well?”

The Curator

He looked her straight in the eye and asked, “Do you curate well?”

She replied, confidently, “Yes, of course. I’ve been doing it for years.”

“Years?” he questioned. “You’re only twenty-two; I’m thirty-four and I just learned about the importance of web curation a year ago.”

“Too bad. You should have gone to The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and taken Instructional Design Technology with Dr. Miriam Larson. That’s where I learned about Curation.”

And, so did I, as a central aspect of my final design project for 570 Instructional Design Technology. My team’s project objective was to design a training course to introduce university instructors and faculty to the benefits of an online Personal Learning Environment (PLE) to enhance traditional face-to-face courses. To meet rigorous higher-education standards a major component of our project focused on web curation. We wanted to ensure the future PLEs our participants created would epitomize instructional quality and usefulness.

The technological world is a new environment for me so my first take on the word curation was how could a term that denotes an individual whose vocation is related to either religion or a museum find its way into the www lexicon? The editors of Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary, often my go-to source for primary information, are out of the loop on the word’s contemporary meanings. Jessica Backus, a disenchanted M-W reader, Jessica Backuscommented:

Would love for Merriam-Webster to address this: Not only does “curation” refer to concrete practices of digital curation, or a human making a selection (i.e. Gilt Group) as opposed to relying on taste-prediction algorithms a la Netflix, Amazon, etc., “curation” has become the word par excellence to describe a thoughtful selection of inspiration in today’s unwieldy and diverse cultural and media landscape. 

Jessica nailed it. Her take on curation probably stems in part from the 2009 seminal blog post, “Manifesto for the Content Curator” by Rohit Bhargava, a marketer, author, speaker, Rubit Bharavahprofessor, and self-avowed nice guy. The post articulates for the first time the 5 models of content curation. The 43,400,000 results from a Google search of the 5 models of content curation attest to its broad influence. His 2011 follow up blog, “The 5 Models of Content Curation,” Bhargava refines and extends the original concept. This is a graphical rendering/summary of The 5 Models of Content Curation.

Content Curation graphic

  • Beth Kanter, another well-regarded blogger in the field, posts her take on Content Curation. In that article she also posts a table inspired by another contemporary theorist, Harold Jarche. The table, “The Ideal Content Curation Practice,” captures the essence of the field’s overarching mandate: seek, sense, share.

Jarche chart

  • During my own exploration to seek, sense, and share about Content Curation, I stumbled across innumerable sites and blog posts which explore the topic and its implications for the future in great depth. A handful of my favorites are listed below. Those blogs list other sites as well. I have one favorite site. It’s created and maintained by Gretel Patch,

Gretl Patcha Master of Educational Technology student at Boise State University and wife of an American diplomat stationed in Nepal. Gretel’s site is her professional and academic portfolio. It’s a clean, well-designed site with rich content and interesting educational and instructional ideas. The Curation blog features a 15-item Curation Checklist, created Gretel and two of her classmates.  Her post also features an interesting video with interviews with leading Content Curators, produced by Percolate, a high-flying marketing company that “helps brands create content at social scale.”

  • Other blog sites that provide stimulating reading about the burgeoning field of Content Creation are:

















  • Curation Tools On another pertinent and practical note, the all-important curation tools. Curation tools allow novices to look like pros and bring to fruition any idea they have, and pros, well, to do what they do best. I curated this list from http://www.seosandwitch.com/2012/06/content-curation.html. It’s the most complete list I’ve seen.

1- Scoop.it

2- Curata

3- Curationsoft

4- Paper.li

5- Googlereader

6- Pinterest

7- Mytweetmag

8- Bundlr

9- Netvibes

10- Newspin

11- Utopic

12- Trapit

13- Faveous

14- Collected

15- Kweeper

16- Pinboard

17- Tweetedtimes

18- Iflow

19- Pearltrees

20- Yoolink.fr

21- Retickr

22- Historio.us

23- Shariest

24- Memolane

25- News.me

26- Stribe

27- Getprismatic

28- Zootool

29- Bagtheweb

30- Bonzobox

31- Skloog

32- Crayon

33- Mysyndicaat

34- Mediaheroes

35- Yourversion

36- Pageonecurator

37- Digg

38- Zemanta

39- Chirpstory

40- Snip.it

41- Trailmeme

42- Qrait

43- Sphinn

44- Technorati

45- Flipboard

46- Storify

47- Newsmix.me

48- Diigo

49- Flocker

50- Dropmark

51- Schoox

52- Feedly

53- AtomicReach

and, I’ll add a 54th. Ta-da! WordPress has its own curation tool, called MyCurator http://www.target-info.com/ exclusively for WordPress users.

  • Well-curated sites I’ll leave you with four examples of what others and I deem well-curated sites, There are hundreds more out there. Send me your favorites.





Well, that’s all, folks. Happy curating!


An Unplanned Post; Timeless Advice

“Type a little; save a lot” was the big-picture takeaway my friend Linda shared with me many years ago after she had attended a week-long computer training course. Handicapped with low-vision, Linda acquired marketable computer skills at that workshop which opened a world of opportunity for her. And that sage advice still rings true, especially in blogosphere. At least for me. I confess, I haven’t followed it. In the past several weeks, failure to follow those six little words has cost time and lost content. And, I’m posting this now as a word of warning that I hope you don’t need. I am really talking to myself because the blog that should have been posted nearly three weeks evaporated for the second time today. I was merrily working away, clicking between tabs, gathering information, when, oops! I x-ed the wrong tab and away went a couple of hours worth of brilliant prose. (I’m a slow, picky writer.) Although, this little text at the bottom right of the text pad tells me the draft is saved, it lies. It didn’t save the latest draft of the earlier work and it’s not 10:44:01 p.m. So, my remedy and advice: to create in a word processor then copy and paste to the blog when it’s ready. Not before. Do you hear that, Brenda?

Visual Blooms

Visuals speak my language. Peregrinating for information to complete this week’s assignment while contemplating Types of Learning. The TOLs sparked some Bloom’s questions so revisited Bloom’s Taxonomy with a web search. There, I tripped over a blog from a 4th grade Australian teacher, Kathy McGeady, who had posted this graphic on her blog (http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2009/08/13/blooms-taxonomy-in-the-digital-age/) along with the following details:

“Most teachers are probably familiar with the Bloom’s Taxonomy model which details the six levels of thinking from lower to higher level thinking (remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, creating).

Mike Fisher, an American instructional coach and consultant has come up with an interesting revision of the Bloom’s Taxonomy model based on 21st century skills. The model incorporates online tools that can be used to encourage each of the levels of thinking. Mike has created a wiki called Visual Blooms to share ideas on where various online tools could fit into the Bloom’s hierachy (obviously many online tools could fit into different categories depending on how they are used). This is still a work in progress but definitely worth checking out.”

Mike’s Visual Blooms site (http://visualblooms.wikispaces.com/Visual+Ideas) sports several other visual Blooms on its main page as well as several additional representations on the side menu. However, it doesn’t appear to have been updated recently. It’s too bad; it gives new meaning to digital blooms.

Peregrinating the soul of the matter

Peregrinating the soul of the matter…

Discomfit. That’s what it’s all about. This state of perplexity … and perhaps a tad of embarrassment…about how to mount a Personal Learning Environment that fits my personally established criteria: embark on a journey through the far reaches of the Web to discover and uncover the most pertinent, thought-provoking, instructive information about Instructional Design Technology and post it on an appealing, easily navigable space created by moi.

Not a hard task? That’s what the twenty-something staff members at SailAway Academy assured me. Well, not so certain for me, a digital immigrant. This post chronicles my journey thus far into the world of blogging, a vast unknown prior to this assignment to create a Personal Learning Environment for my IDT class.

Peregrination is about travels and journeys. I began this one by visioning what this trek would entail. After all, it would be similar any other journey, physical or intellectual, I had taken before. A quick recollection of actual journeys sorted them into planned and spontaneous, structured and unstructured. My youngest son’s five-week wanderings in Europe last summer were meticulously planned, tickets purchased and reservations made weeks in advance. It was a great trip. On the other hand, one of my most memorable peregrinations was a trip to Cape Cod. It was so spontaneous we couldn’t find a room so we slept on the beach, under the stars, lullabied by lapping waves, well guarded through the night by our faithful Pekingese.  A fabulous trip. I wanted my PLE to reflect the dichotomy of my personal peregrinating preferences: obsession for structure cycling with pure impulsivity.

So, I decided this space would have two intentional elements: structured and unstructured. Structured in the sense that there would be one place devoted to the learning theories, Instructivism, Constructivism, and Connectivism, I was studying in my class and how to apply them to instructional design technology. This portion would have a rather academic feel, take on a more direct instructional identify, and extend my classwork learning. The unstructured components would be fun posts about cool things about IDT or learning that I tripped over as I peregrinated the web less intentionally. Both seemed to me to be valid and necessary, an honest reflection of my very own virtual personal learning space.

Intellectual excitement for this new learning adventured bubbled within my being. Then, I landed on the technological shores of WordPress, unprepared to do what I passionately wanted to do, even though it was a required assignment for an IDT class in preparing to teach others to create and manage a PLE. I just couldn’t find a way to make the technology do what I wanted: I hadn’t acquired any level of ability. Nonetheless I trucked on.

The first few weeks I managed to post what was required with limited success. All the while capped angst about my digital inadequacies and tense frustration fomented under a feigned all-is-well veneer. Accomplishing that initial task didn’t illicit that sense of elated satisfaction I get when I work a stats problem correctly. Stats is difficult for me but when I wrestle with a problem long enough and figure it out, even if the simple arithmetic trips me up…wow! what ecstasy! The mistakes aren’t monumental in those stats problems either, unlike they were for me trying to build the Peregrinating the Web site. I would take an action and it would either not look like what I had expected or it would disappear! Once, in an attempt to up the design ante, I lost the sub-title. (I’ve now regained it, stumbling across an editing page that allowed me to reclaim it.) Then, there is the issue of time, that limited commodity of which there is never enough. What I felt should be a quick post to share some interesting thoughts or websites with classmates turned into an hour-long, nail-biting episode. “Well,” I thought to myself, “It’s up. That’s progress.” Then that modicum of success wilted as I visited my classmates’ appealingly formatted PLEs, teeming with interesting, informative, mature blog posts populated with graphics, and videos, and links, and all manner of good stuff to feast the eyes and mind on.

I take a stand: the phase of timidity in the face of challenge must end; how to peregrinate well through this new land must be confronted. So, structure begins to emerge from the mists of confusion.

I make a decision: forget formatting and look for now. That’s a world of skill acquisition unto itself. For now, only content counts. And surely as the content gets pasted to the site, through the process of just doing, the skills to do it well will follow. They must. That’s the thesis anyway.

What is it then that I want this space to BE in the vastness of contemporary connectedness to myself and my learning, and how that part of my being intersects and interacts with others who are also developing and defining their being and their learning in digital conversations and communications?


1. Assist other digital immigrants (poor souls!) develop Personal Learning Environments that will satisfy their individual learning needs (a place to park information as it’s funneled through a sieve of questioning-to-clarity) and be instructive, helpful, affirming, ____________, ____________, __________, (blanks to be filled in as the process unfolds) for others.

2. Be accessible with an easy-to-navigate format, content rich, compellingly written, and visually appealing.

3.Tame the *@!* WordPress program so it will do what I want it to do so others will know they can, too.

4. Chronicle the raw data of emotions of discouragement and success as unashamedly as possible along with the information about learning and teaching and how it’s done in the digital age.

I think it’s doable.

Hot off the Press! Time Magazine’s Cover Story about Higher Ed

Just received this week’s TIME magazine with cover story about the pros and cons of online vs. in person college education. This high-visibility publication is already getting plenty of interest in the blogosphere. Here are a few links:                                                                                                    

  1. TIME article: http://nation.time.com/2012/10/18/college-is-dead-long-live-college/
  2. Connectivist Stephen Downes: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=59296
  3. https://plus.google.com/116936089053490488674/posts/JyrtHCoXayZ

Don Kirkpatrick, Live! Webinar, November 5

I had wanted to introduce my IT570 classmates to this website http://www.trainingindustry.com for some time. For some reason I’ve been on their mailing list for years. Over that time, I’ve peeked at their materials feeling like a total outsider. Now, it makes more sense.

Since we engage with Don Kirkpatrick’s work on a regular basis, thought you might enjoy hearing him live in a webinar on Nov. 5. Registration links below. Here’s a summary from the website:

Training industry legend Don Kirkpatrick will make a special appearance and you’ll learn from Kirkpatrick Partners principals James Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kirkpatrick as they show you the newest way to implement the famous Four Levels of learning measurement. In this interactive seminar, we’ll focus on Level 3 and 4 tactics and provide practical ideas you can implement in your organization. The interactive seminar you will learn: 

  • Why starting with desired results in mind is critical to successful initiatives.
  • What specific tactics you can use to influence on-the-job behavior.
  • How to create programs that enhance both on-the-job performance and bottom-line results. from http://www.trainingindustry.com                                                                                                 To register, use this link http://www.trainingindustry.com/seminars/delivering-real-value-kirkpatrick-levels-3-and-4.aspx

Playing Around

It takes time to break in a pair of shoes….just like it does to learn to use new technology

The best way to learn something new and uncomfortable is to be willing to fail…oh, how I hate that word! However, in order to learn how to use this technology, I’m going to have to try and risk failure before the technology becomes a trusted tool. Thankfully, today’s mistake, trying to upload a picture was correctable. Instead of a single picture I accidentally uploaded the whole file from last May’s SailAway Academy graduation. Great pictures, not pertinent to web peregrination.

It’s like breaking breaking in a new pair of shoes. At first they seem rigid and unbending, and may cause sore feet or even a blister or two. However, with perseverance they soften, form to your feet, and are oh, so comfortable and reliable. That has been the theme throughout my technological seasons. I remember my first powerpoint. I was thrilled to be able to get copy on the screen, no graphics, not even an appealing theme, just words.

Today, powerpoint technology is not scary at all and even fun most of the time. So, to break in this new technological tool, blogging, will take practice. And, enough of it. At least weekly so this is my first. My goal today is to share a link about just what is a Personal Learning Environment and a picture of some sort. Let’s see how it turns out. The shoe’s still a little tight.